Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Contingency Plan

This week we intended to teach our children about food from the source; catching, dispatching *ahem* and cooking their own crabs. We bought crab pots. We bought bait. We sloshed about in the bitter wind and frigid cold. It seems, however, we are gathers by nature. Or rather we lack the genetic make-up of hunters. Despite our valiant efforts we were wholly unsuccessful at crabbing. It is not that we couldn't go in for the kill. That part would have been accomplished. No. We simply couldn't catch the buggers. Not a one.

After three days stalking these elusive arthropods we broke down. Today we enjoyed the delectable warmth of a fish market and devoured this creature who, just this morning, was plucked from his aquatic home. He was delicious. I highly recommend him splattered with lemon and dripping with butter.

As for teaching about slow food? Well the children learned that food fresh from the source is ambrosial. They also grappled with their barbaric kinglike behavior as they ripped off legs and tore into the shell. They were, however, spared the gory details of the kill. It's still a lesson worth learning if we are going to continue with our omnivorous ways. The instruction remains for another day.


I wonder -- do you eat meat? If so do your children know from where their food comes?


Sheryl said...

My husband and I believe our son should understand where food really comes from. Just last week his Dad took him deer hunting and he got his first deer. He has been hunting several times, but was still taken back by it. He has no doubt about what is involved in eating animals.

Tammie said...

my husband and children eat meat, and i do sometimes. its not my favorite thing on the menu and i make certain the kids know where it comes from. my son used to be a huge meat eater but as hes gotten older i think his love of (living) animals tends to interfere with his love of the taste of them.

Gayle said...

Shalet, that looks so good! We do eat meat. We aren't hunters, but my children understand where their food comes from.

Mrs. E said...

My girls watched their Grandpa butcher pigs and cows on the farm. They have stuffed sausage casings. Knowing where things come from is part of a country kid's education around here.

Sheryl said...

The really interesting this for me is that I've been an off and on vegetarian for 30 years. I would have loved to raise my son as a vegetarian, but he loves meat. His aspiration is to be a vet -- he's even gone so far to volunteer at our friends practice during summer break and he's 12. His hunting has certainly brought the struggle between his love for animals and liking meat to his attention. I'm very interested to see how it will play out.

Shalet said...

Well I am a veterinarian and do eat meat. But I do not typically eat the species under my care (dogs and cats). Nonetheless I am moving more and more to the slow food movement. I want to know that the animals which grace my table were given a good and decent life.

My husband and son are thinking about going back to hunting to eliminate our need for commercial meat. At least those animals lived as they were meant to be. The other thing I'm considering is buying a half cow or elk from a small local farm.

I love that we get our own eggs though I love my chickens and don't have the heart to raise our own for meat. The same goes for any animal really -- I couldn't do it. And thus I am looking for middle ground.

Shalet said...

I should clarify that I have never eaten a dog or cat! I have, however, cared for chickens which I have eaten (though not eaten the ones I cared for). Geesh.

6512 and growing said...

My husband hunts and our kids take part in the butchering. This is so ingrained in them that for my daughter's first 2 years she called all meat "elk."

We have chickens too and will someday, probably, possibly eat them; this is trickier as we've raised them from chicks, named them and kind of love them a whole lot.
Here is a post on a home butchering day: